Most dry commodities are transported on pallets in weather-protected curtains or hard side trucks and trailers. Loading and unloading a truck can be done in a variety of ways.
For manual handling, break down the freight by hand and carry it off the truck, or load it onto pallets on the truck. Because personnel will be picking up potentially heavy boxes and dealing with ramps or tail-lifts or jumping on and off the truck, there may be an increased danger of accidents and injuries. In these situations, manual handling training is essential to limit the risk of injury.
In smaller vehicles, manual handling is possible, but doing so on a semitrailer would take a long time unless there are a lot of workers.
Pallet jack: the cheapest piece of equipment for moving pallets is a manual pallet jack. Insert the prongs into the pallet and push the handle to lift it a few centimeters off the deck. Manual pallet jacks must be handled with caution, as a heavy pallet on a slope (even just the road’s camber) can start to run away from the operator. People have been crushed by moving loads, even though some can lift 2000kg.
Powered pallet jack: Powered pallet jacks work in the same way as manual pallet jacks, but with the addition of a tiny electric motor for greater load management.
The next step up from a motorized pallet jack is a walkie stacker/jiffy. They can raise to the height of a truck deck in many cases. They normally come in one of two styles: walk-behind or with a rear ride-on platform. They’re a lot heavier than a pallet jack, requiring special training to operate.
A forklift is a ride-on that is the next step up from a walkie stacker. Because of the inherent dangers, operators must have received training (thousands of people are injured a year in forklift accidents, and several are killed).
If a forklift isn’t available, a front-end loader with forks attachments can be used to remove pallets from a flat deck truck/trailer or a curtain sider with the curtains pulled back. Operators of front-end loaders must have the necessary certifications.
A knuckle boom truck loader crane with forks attached can also take loads from a flat deck or an open curtain sider. Operators of truck loader cranes must have the necessary certifications.
A telehandler resembles a cross between a fixed jib crane and a front-end loader. They can easily remove pallets off the back of a truck with a forks attachment, just like a front-end loader.
What is a truck’s automatic manual transmission (AMT)?
Automated manual transmissions are widely used and can be found on various vehicles. Volvo I-Shift, Eaton AutoShift, Renault Optidriver, Mercedes-Benz PowerShift, and UD Trucks ESCOT are among them. They are not the same as torque converter-equipped ‘automatic’ gearboxes; they are a modified manual gearbox with electronics controlling the shift rather than the driver.
Automated manual gearboxes can deliver faultless shifts at the correct rev range every time, improving fuel economy, lowering driver fatigue, minimizing vehicle wear and tear, and increasing driver satisfaction.
Instead of the driver using the gear stick and clutch pedal, all AMT gearboxes use computer-controlled actuators (electric motors, air cylinders, or both) to control the selection rods, range/split selectors, and clutch application.
The computer calculates which gear is required based on the load on the engine, the road speed, and the engine revs. It engages the clutch and matches the revs to produce a smooth gear shift in a short period, resulting in rapid and soft growth.
Overriding the AMT is possible, although it usually results in poor fuel economy. You may be doing this to keep the truck in low gear. In most circumstances, though, it’s preferable to keep it in A or Auto and let the computer handle the rest.
Some early AMT boxes still require a clutch pedal to get the vehicle rolling, such as at traffic lights, but once moving, the clutch pedal is no longer necessary – the AMT takes over.
Even if a clutch pedal isn’t visible in the cab, a clutch assembly identical to a manual transmission will be present, but electronics will operate it.
Because most automated manual transmissions use some air pressure to move gears, they must not be left in the bag when shut off. You may not be able to start the vehicle if it has an air leak because it will be in gear, and there will be no air to move it out of the bag. Manually filling the air tanks necessitates a pricey callout.
The computer system will receive the optimal programming for optimum fuel economy if it is serviced properly. Clutch adjustments must also be made at regular intervals to avoid slipping.